As a graphic designer I use desktop printers quite often. I own four HP printers, some of which were quite expensive.
The mainstay of my business is a model 2300 PostScript laser printer. For reasons I won’t go into, a PostScript printer has advanced features not available in most popular laser printers. I survived OS upgrades through Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows XP. My problem with it is that HP does not have a driver for it in Windows 7.
I bought this printer circa 2002. It was expensive because I installed additional RAM to handle large graphics files. It has been a workhorse, generating up to 25 pages per minute, and supporting resolutions of up to 1,200 dpi. This was important in the days when commercial printers required high-resolution hard copy to make film and printing plates.
I still use it for special printing tasks. However, in the absence of an updated PPD (PostScript Page description) file, I can no longer print on custom paper sizes.
Recently, I made some greeting cards for two of my seven grandchildren. When I tried to print the envelopes, there was no option for an A9 envelope. HP did not create a Postscript driver for Windows 7 for this device. While they did create a driver called HP Universal PostScript driver that could make that printer work, there is no accompanying PPD file for it.
HP makes good products and I am a loyal customer. I own three other HP printers: an HP5550 inkjet (for up to legal size paper), an HP9330 inkjet printer (for up to 11 x 17 paper), and an HPLaserjet 6M/6MP, my original (but slow) PostScript printer. My desktop computer is an HP Pavilion.
I can understand that to update drivers for older printers is expensive. But I would be happy to pay for the update in order to be able to keep using an older printer.
When I called HP for support, they declined to provide support for the HP2300 because it was too old. I think HP has a bigger problem: their support staff is too young. When they asked me what port the printer was connected to, I answered “LPT1.” They asked me to spell it. I guess the use of parallel ports is before their time.